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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5014..


Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner

Report and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.13): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Investigation into Adverse Patient Outcomes of Neurosurgical Services provided by the Canberra Hospital-Final Report, prepared by the Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner, dated February 2003.

I ask for leave to move a motion to authorise the paper for publication.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I move:

That the paper be authorised for publication.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MR CORBELL: I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: For the information of members, I have tabled a report entitled The adverse patient outcomes of neurosurgical services provided by the Canberra Hospital. This report documents the findings of an investigation carried out by Mr Ken Patterson, Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner, into neurosurgery at the Canberra Hospital.

In November 2000, under section 11 of the Community and Health Services Complaints Act 1993, the then minister for health, Mr Moore, directed the Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner to inquire into possible adverse clinical outcomes as a consequence of neurosurgery at the Canberra Hospital and to report back on the issues. I received the report in February 2003. When the report was provided to me I was advised by the Government Solicitor's Office that it was not advisable to publish it, in order to protect patient privacy. The Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner also recommended to the then ACT Health Chief Executive Officer that the report not be made public.

There is, however, public interest here in that the public have a right to know about the quality and standards of health services provided in public ACT health facilities. For this reason I have decided to now table the report following recent developments in a matter before the ACT Medical Board involving a neurosurgeon, as well as representations that ACT Health have received from concerned consumers and staff. Members will see that only two recommendations were made in the report, both of which have been actioned.

The commissioner has also noted in his report that as his investigation proceeded a range of concerns were expressed about one neurosurgeon. The commissioner notes in his


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